Take a camel ride, step back in time aboard a vintage train, or gaze at a mesmerizing blown glass ceiling
Pack your bags, and get ready to enjoy quality family time in Oklahoma City. This bustling, friendly frontier town is the perfect getaway for families that love free family fun, epic experiences, and delicious food. So whether you are road-tripping across the country or taking a day trip from Tulsa, Oklahoma City is a bucket list town full of must-see places and family-friendly activities everyone in your crew will love. So keep reading to plan your perfect family vacation in Oklahoma City.
Things to Do in Oklahoma City with Kids
Located just under four hours from Missouri, Texas, and Arkansas, Oklahoma City is famous for its cowboy culture and Native American heritage. Of course, you can find many things to do with kids in Oklahoma City, including visiting the Science Museum Oklahoma, riding a water taxi on the Bricktown Canal, or exploring the Children’s Garden at Myriad Botanical Gardens. But there’s so much more this town has to offer, and we rounded up our favorites.
Top Places to Visit with Kids in Oklahoma City
Museum of Osteology
Check out this unique skeleton museum where almost every bone in the building is authentic, and you can touch many displays. In addition, kids can complete an age-appropriate scavenger hunt, identify skulls of all sizes, watch flesh-eating beetles at work and dissect an owl pellet for $5. The friendly staff loves to tell the museum’s fascinating history, and you won’t be disappointed by the incredible collection of skeletons.
Science Museum Oklahoma
No family vacation in Oklahoma City is complete without a stop at the city’s science museum. Plan to explore the fascinating interactive exhibits and shows for most of the day. Whether you want to play games based on scientific principles or run around an Olympic-themed indoor playground, there’s something for everyone in your crew to enjoy. Remember to check the times of the planetarium shows so you can catch your favorite.
Newly renovated, this beautiful and educational garden is worth a visit with your crew. First, explore the indoor gardens to learn about edible, medicinal and super fragrant plants and their habitats. Then, head outside to run around the Children’s Garden, splash pad and pond filled with turtles and coy fish. Once outside, you’ll have access to outdoor restrooms and a shady picnic area.
Outdoor Family Fun in Oklahoma City
The fun starts at this city center park when the sun’s out. The enormous splash pad is perfect for all ages, and the multi-level playground has climbing structures for even the tiniest traveler in your group. Walk the paved paths to enjoy the beautiful green space, and remember to stop on Skydance Bridge for a great view of the sculptures and the park.
Bricktown Water Taxi
Book your 40-minute water taxi ride as close to sunset as possible, and you’ll get the best view of Bricktown. The water taxi guides are OKC experts with great stories and fun personalities. You’ll float by beautiful murals, bustling restaurants, and the spectacular view of the Oklahoma Land Run Monument on the south end of the canal. If you’re celebrating a birthday, your boat mates may sing to you under the Echo Bridge.
Wheeler Ferris Wheel
If you’re ready for a quiet family afternoon with a great view of downtown OKC, you’re ready to visit the Wheeler District and ride the Wheeler Ferris Wheel, relocated from the Santa Monica Pier. The 100-foot wheel with safe open-air buckets provides the best view in the area. Stick around to laze in a hammock, play lawn games and enjoy a snack and drink at one of the shady tables. Stop by over the weekend when the food trucks park for dinner.
Kid-friendly Art Exhibits in Oklahoma City
Red Earth Art Gallery
Grab a street parking spot near the BancFirst Tower, and head to the complimentary gallery and gift shop on the first floor. The Modern Frontier City has a rich Native American heritage, and the artists featured in this gallery capture that heritage with vivid colors, vibrant textiles and captivating sculptures. Then, if it’s time for a snack, your crew can fill up at the grab-and-go cafe on the same level.
OKC Museum of Art
Remember to pick up an age-appropriate Discovery Bag so your kids can participate in an art-themed scavenger hunt and take home a gift included with free admission (under age 17). The OKC Museum of Art showstopper is the blown glass Persian Ceiling from the Chihuly Then and Now: The Collection at Twenty exhibit. Visitors can walk under the beautiful installation and stop for a unique photo op. In addition, the gift shop offers excellent open-ended STEAM toys for kids and beautiful home decor.
Plaza Walls and Plaza District
Found on Native American ancestral land, this rotating outdoor art exhibit features local artists’ murals, including everything from tribal markings to local wildlife and even famous cartoons. If you are looking for an area that’s calmer than downtown and has a hip vibe, stop by the Plaza District for art, coffee and delicious food.
Family-friendly Fun in Oklahoma City
Get ready to feed a giraffe, ride a camel, have a Lorikeet land on your head and pet a stingray at this interactive zoo. With everything from local Oklahoma wildlife like the American Bison to exotic animals worldwide, the animal-lover in your crew will love their visit to this zoo. Remember to bring quarters for the duck food dispensers, but don’t worry about cash for the carousel, as they take credit cards. Then, when you’re ready for a break, stop by The Canopy for a family-friendly meal in the air-conditioned building.
Oklahoma Railway Museum
Your train-lover will love this fantastic museum where you can ride on a steam engine, tour vintage trains and view the enormous model train display. Reserve a spot in the open-air train car or grab a cozy seat in one of the enclosed cars. Friendly volunteers share about railroad history in Oklahoma and the United States. Take a moment to chat with one of the volunteers, and you’ll discover passion not often found these days.
45th Infantry Division Museum
Your family’s history buff or military enthusiast will want to spend hours strolling through this indoor/outdoor museum. With weapons dating back to 1541 through Desert Storm and real tanks, airplanes, trucks and ambulances on display, it’s a great place to stop and see some living history. Admission is free for this impactful museum. Note: The WWII collection could be difficult for some visitors.
Where to Eat with Kids in Oklahoma City
Best Oklahoma City Breakfast Spots
Walk into this downtown cafe, and you’re met with emerald green couches, fresh ground coffee and vintage airplane-metal tables. With everything from upscale biscuits and gravy to fresh pastries you’ll want to take home, this breakfast spot has something for everyone to enjoy.
Best Oklahoma City Lunch Spots
This quick and delicious rainbow-themed lunch spot is an easy mid-day option in Scissortail Park and close to Myriad Gardens. Head to the counter to order burgers, fries and frozen custard, then pick a table inside or out. Get out of the sun for a while and enjoy the lush green views of the park.
Best Oklahoma City Dinner Spots
Book a table for an early dinner at this quaint neighborhood restaurant. The upscale queso and white tablecloths give families a nice dinner out together. The friendly staff takes care of everything, and the talented chef gives the home cook in your crew a night off.
Capitals Ice Cream
No vacation is complete without ice cream, and this frozen treat shop is a must-visit in midtown Oklahoma City. Pick chocolate or vanilla ice cream, then pile on the cereal-themed mix-ins. Or ask for key lime pie, and they’ll blend an entire slice into your ice cream.
Where to Stay with Kids in Oklahoma City
Hyatt Place Oklahoma City Northwest
With room to spread out, a complimentary hot breakfast, and an indoor pool, this family-friendly hotel in Oklahoma City is the perfect option for your next family vacation. With large rooms that offer multiple beds and sofa beds, even big families can enjoy this hotel.
Want to see more of Oklahoma City with Kids? Check this out.
Discover More Details about Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City is the ideal family destination with the perfect balance of relaxation and tons of family fun. Check out the Oklahoma City Tourism website for more ideas on what to do on your next family adventure.
Note: This trip was paid for by Visit OKC, but all opinions expressed here belong to the writer.